If you don’t work in marketing, and maybe even if you do, you could probably compile a list of the marketing expressions we love to hate. From touching base to calling time, there are any number of marketing buzzwords that Word Geek encounters in her regular catch-up sessions with her marketing colleagues. They almost all make sense when she thinks about them, but it doesn’t mean she has to like them!
Here are a few of the latest additions to her list.
In a recent discussion about targets, Word Geek heard about our North Star Metric. She didn’t know we had one. It even has its own acronym: NSM. Despite reasonably guessing that it was a key metric, the NSM, she has since learned, is the one measurement that best predicts a company’s long-term success. Apparently, to qualify as the NSM, it must generate revenue, reflect value for the customer and measure progress. Going back to a previous acronym, albeit reluctantly, it seems to be the ultimate KPI (or Key Performance Indicator). Word Geek thinks it should also guide her home at the end of the day but apparently that’s asking too much, despite its name!
As if it weren’t bad enough to refer to brand new potential customers as being “top of funnel”, we now have to condense the term to TOFU. Sometimes Word Geek thinks there is a committee somewhere whose job it is to invent terms just to keep the general population guessing! Not being a fan of the foodstuff tofu, however, she is at least glad they haven’t ruined a food she does like by appropriating its name for marketing jargon. The day chocolate or cake is used for marketing purposes may just be the day she puts the lid on her pen.
We can’t talk about the marketing expressions we love to hate without including mentioning an SEO specialist’s favourite. Doing what it says on the tin, clickbait is content or imagery designed purely to encourage web browsers to click on a link, visit a website or follow a Twitter feed. As a principle, it’s not new: think of posters in shops windows advertising 20% discounts or 2-for-1 special offers. Customers seeing these ads would be encouraged to enter the shop to learn more. Clickbait merely takes the same principle online, though perhaps more subtly in some cases. Who wouldn’t want to click on a gif of a panda rolling down the hill to find more similar videos? No? Just me, then.
Although these aren’t particularly new marketing expressions for Word Geek, the need to alternate between long-form and short-form content to satisfy the Google behemoth has caused her no end of sleepless nights. “Your web pages need to be longer” this month but next time “the search engines want shorter, more concise pages”. Then there’s the combination of long-tail and short-tail keywords – another headache for the dedicated WG. She misses the days when you could just write what you wanted, humans would read it and the world would be a happy place.
The marketing mix, the whole shebang, the full monte, all ways of describing the range of marketing tools you can use to achieve your marketing targets. In checking she’d got the right definition, Word Geek found there are differing opinions on how many elements make up the marketing mix: 4, sometimes 5 and even as many as 7. The number has varied over time as extra elements have been included. Whenever she hears we will be employing the full marketing mix, she can’t help but think it just sounds like more work!
At the end of the day, it has not escaped Word Geek’s notice that in writing this blog she has descended further into the world of buzzwords with terms like key metric, KPI, Twitter feed and search engines. She consoles herself with the knowledge that every walk of life has its jargon, often bemusing other sectors of society. Who would guess that DIY in the horse world is not about building stables but instead simply means looking after your horse yourself? Language is a wonderful, flexible thing, even when it’s manipulated in some unusual ways.
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